60, 63, or Ezekiel 16:59-63
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
The scriptures today are interesting and challenging. They seem to be about women. In Matthew, Christ proclaims the mystery where a man leaves home and is joined to his wife, and the "two shall become one flesh.". This really is a truth and a mystery. I'm coming up on 22 years of marriage and I recognize that my wife is truly a gift from God. And that is about the extent of my understanding when it comes to women. Most of the rest remains a mystery to me.
In Ezekiel, the nation of Israel is compared to a young woman. Abandoned as a baby, the Lord finds her and has compassion on her. She grows to a young woman and the Lord takes care of her. He enters into a covenant with her, bathes her, clothes her, feeds her and adorns her with jewelry. The story reminded me greatly of the story of the good Samaritan and Christ's command to love our neighbor. Christ's command always seems so simple, but it isn't. This struck me recently as I was out for an evening drive. It was a nice evening and my wife suggested that we go for a drive. We took several of the younger boys with us. As I was driving down a lonely stretch of highway, we came upon a man pulled over to the side of the road. My foot immediately started for the brake pedal and then stopped. The man was about my age, had not bathed in some time, had several days growth of beard, tattered clothes and dark glasses. His pickup truck was old and rusted out. Recent news stories of abductions went through my mind. I looked at my wife and children and my foot went back to the accelerator. Obviously this was just a flash in my life. A moment. Several seconds at the most. And yet I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this recently. Twenty years ago I would not have hesitated to stop and offer aid. What has changed? I don't know if the man needed assistance or not, but I did not even ask. Was this an opportunity to serve, presented by God, that I ignored? What message did I send to my children? Did they even notice?
Today's society seems to discourage the good Samaritan. We're
bombarded with frightening stories of abductions that sometimes end horribly.
The inference is "trust no one." How do we combat this? How
do we offer the hand of friendship without fear? Life is full of
risks, but I don't want to take foolish ones. Or do I? These
are questions that have been bouncing around in my head recently.
I don't really have any answers, but the command to love my neighbor is
always there. My prayer would be for guidance in how I can love my
neighbor and how I can help to alleviate the fear.
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